On behalf of President János Áder, Minister of Justice László Trócsányi presented the Order of Merit of Hungary to 11 personalities on the occasion of Hungary’s 20 August national holiday, marking the state’s founding.

The recipients of the title, nominated for the prestigious state honour by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, included judges and other officials from the judiciary.

In his address at the award ceremony, Minister Trócsányi referred to the life and work of Saint Stephen, and said that the country’s first king had created Hungary's statehood through legislation and the development of institutions, rather than through brute force. Although “Hungary may have been under autarchic rule for short periods during its history, governing in the long term is impossible without a constitutional system”, Mr. Trócsányi added.

Legislation should conform to ideals such as fairness and compassion with the poor, ideals which King Stephen found in Christianity, and it was his achievement that made Hungary a part of Europe's history, the Minister said.
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“Saint Stephen’s formula is still valid: to be part of the larger spiritual, moral, economic and legal community that is Europe without giving up our independence and freedom; to be both Hungarian and European at the same time,” the Minister stressed, adding that “we must learn again and again how to apply this formula”. Finding solutions that are in line with both national and European law requires more openness from the judiciary than before, Mr. Trócsányi declared.

The Minister stressed the importance of the independence of judges, referring to it as “sacrosanct”. He emphasised that the Government cannot influence court decisions, but that this does not mean that the cabinet should not have a judicial policy, which is currently aimed at making legislation “increasingly fast, accurate, transparent and fair”.

(Ministry of Justice)